Many people build cyberdecks just for the heck of it, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. On the other hand, [cyzoonic]’s rugged ‘deck is a bit more purpose-built. In this instance, the purpose is software-defined radio.
Underneath those sweet custom-cut panels lies a Raspberry Pi 3B and a BOM full of parts that can be had on Ali Express. There’s also an ESP32 that takes input from the keypad plus the 5 buttons that control the display, and the two potentiometers. [cyzoonic] can dial in frequencies with the knobs, or by punching in digits on the keypad.
One of the problems with using a Pelican case is this — how do you install any type of panel without compromising the case’s water-tightness? [cyzoonic] mentions in the comments that Pelican makes a bracket that allows for panels and things to be screwed down without breaching the case. But in this case, [cyzoonic] made their own brackets in a similar fashion.
Another problem with Pelican cases (and cyberdecks in general that are built into hinged boxen) is something that doesn’t get enough attention: typing ergonomics. Personally, we take comfortable and ergonomic typing fairly seriously, and would love to see a cyberdeck that speaks to this issue.
In the meantime, we’ll have to take [cyzoonic]’s word that while it’s not terribly comfortable to type with the ‘deck on a tabletop, sitting on the floor hunched over the thing like a true hacker is much better. This is a work in progress (at least the IO project anyway), so we’ll be tuning back in occasionally to see if any more instructions appear.
Speaking of ergonomic cyberdecks, here’s the one that drew the line in the sand for us — [Tinfoil_Haberdashery]’s lovely ErgoDox-based NUC machine.
When you don’t need the durability of a professional system, this DIY remote lighting system will do.
Pelican makes a great remote lighting system. Unfortunately, it’s the kind of great that comes with a “Request Quote” button instead of “Add to Cart”. It’s designed to be thrown in the back of a tank and guaranteed to work at the end of the day. [mep1811]’s system is not that system. It’s the store-in-a-Rubbermaid-tote and throw in the back of the family Honda kind of great, but it’s made from stuff you can buy anywhere.
The build is contained by a water resistant plastic box. Two sealed lead acids and a battery charger sit inside. The system is hooked together with simple car outlets — also known as the worst accidental electrical connector standard of all time. For the lights, [mep1811] simply made mounts for chinese LED spots and bought some inexpensive camera tripods. With a full charge, he says it runs for forty hours.
In the end it’s not a complicated hack, but its simplicity adds a certain amount of ruggedness, and it will definitely do the trick in a power outage.
Taking portability one step further [Marty Enerson] built a photo booth in a roll-away case. The Pelican mobile case houses an Elo Touchscreen, a Canon PIXMA iP3000 photo printer, and a Canon Powershot SD100 digital camera. Most of this, including a Lenovo laptop to run it, was purchased second-hand from eBay, with a copy of Photoboof (different from the wedding photo booth from last week) to tie up the software side of the project. He plans to add a folding stand later on to make it into a kiosk. For some reason that sparks the image of a voting booth in our minds.
[Ben Heck] has put the final touches on his Pelican case Xbox 360. This prototype was constructed for use by troops stationed overseas. When he announced the project in October, he already knew some of the hurdles he would face. An industrial Velcro style product is used for all component mounting so the air/water-tight seal of the case remains intact. He sanded the surface so that it would stick better. [Ben] mentions that he ended up using less Velcro than he planned on because it held so well. Not being able to cut the case meant the DVD drive had to be converted to top-loading. The tray movement limit switches have been relocated so they now respond to lid position. He regrets not being able to motorize the lid, but let it go since this is still just the first attempt. Extra copper was added to all of the heat sinks to improve cooling. This Xbox is for sale and he’d love to hear from anyone that wants to put it into production. The write-up has a ton of pictures and you can see a video of it below.
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We were surprised the last time [Ben Heck] was building a Xbox 360 laptop, yet here’s another one. Well, it’s not a laptop exactly, but an Xbox 360 built inside of a Pelican case. After receiving several requests for a similar device for people stationed overseas, he finally decided to try it out. The goal is to get all the components into the case so that the watertight seals are intact. It’s only partially complete right now and he notes that one of the major hurdles will be converting the DVD drive to top loading. The light ring and USB ports will probably be moved to the top surface, and the hard drive will be made removable. We look forward to the final writeup since there aren’t many tutorials on working with Pelican cases.
UPDATE: The text: “This is fictional work. DHL did not transport the GPS at any time” has been added to the bottom of the page since the original posting.
Artist [Erik Nordenankar] has created the Biggest Drawing In The World. At least that’s what his URL says. He used the movement of a GPS device to create a giant single line self portrait on the globe. His Pelican case containing four large batteries and the GPS data logger was handed off DHL with very specific travel instructions for its 55 day journey. It’s a pretty amazing feat, but we really wish the case had managed to make the trip without the close watch shown in the video.
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